KATHMANDU, Dec 11: Siba Hasmi, 16, who is fighting for her life after she was set ablaze by an Indian national for refusing to elope with him, was airlifted to Kathmandu on Monday for further treatment. The incident happened in Gulariya in Bardiya.
Although doctors at the regional hospital in Nepalgunj had referred Siba to Kathmandu on Friday itself, the victim´s family took three days to bring her to Kathmandu due to financial problems.
Several local NGOs have supported the victim´s family in Siba´s treatment. Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai and National Women Commission have also expressed their concerns for the victim´s life.
Girl undergoing treatment. (Photo: Bhashwor Ojha)
Doctors at Bir Hospital, where Siba has been admitted, say there is only a faint of hope for her survival. "We can´t say if she will survive," said Dr Piyus Dahal, chief of burn unit at Bir Hospital. "Ninety per cent of her body is severely burnt and her condition is very critical."
He said that Siba is deeply burnt and has been put on oxygen. He also said that he has asked the duty doctors to keep her on ventilator if her condition deteriorates.
Babu Khan, 23, an Indian national had set fire to her on Friday morning when she refused to elope with him. Khan, who is said to be a resident of Baharaich in India´s Uttar Pardesh state, had poured petrol on her and set her ablaze. Police have arrested Khan, who later admitted to his crime. Siba´s brother Tanbir said Khan had been courting his sister for the last four months.
"My sister had complained to my mother that Babu Khan was harassing her and mother told us about this," he said. He said that he and his brothers had asked Babu Khan to leave Siba alone. Siba´s family had also complained to Khan´s parents about the harassment.
Tanbir claimed that his sister did not have any relation with Khan who is a mechanic at a local motorcycle workshop. "We had several times asked him not to harass our sister, but he took our suggestion negatively," he added. Siba´s family had lodged complaint at the District Administration Office (DAO).
According to Tanbir, a day before the incident DAO had negotiated a reconciliation and Khan had promised that he would not harass Siba anymore.